DET@MIN: Pelfrey strikes out first batter for Twins

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Mike Pelfrey wanted to spend his Monday night analyzing Wichita State's defense as it matched up with Michigan's offense in the NCAA men's basketball title game.

It didn't happen, because the Shockers gave up a 12-point lead in the second half of their Saturday semifinal against Louisville, but that didn't diminish the pride that Pelfrey, a Wichita resident, has in his hometown team, which captured national acclaim with its run to the Final Four.

"It would have been a good one," Pelfrey said, thinking about how the Shockers might have matched up against the Wolverines. "The Shockers rose to the occasion so many times. Hopefully, they turn into a Gonzaga-type program, where they are looked at as a powerhouse. The city and the school have to be thrilled."

Pelfrey, a WSU basketball season-ticket holder, last saw the Shockers play in late January before he headed to Spring Training.

"They were playing good at the time I last saw them, but they didn't finish [the regular season] that well," he said. "They turned it on at the right time by playing kind of angry and aggressive all through the tournament."

Wichita sports fans can now turn their attention to baseball. Pelfrey will have a contingent of approximately 20 people making the three-hour drive from Wichita to see his Tuesday start against the Royals.

"I'm excited about it," he said. "I've never pitched here, and it's a nice ballpark. It's a pretty cool place to play."

Royals' opener brings back happy memories for Gardy

DET@MIN: Gardenhire on young players contributing

KANSAS CITY -- The home-opener festivities for the Royals on Monday sparked some happy memories for manager Ron Gardenhire.

It was on Opening Day 2002, in Kansas City, that Gardenhire made his managerial debut. The first batter on the Gardenhire watch was Jacque Jones, who promptly homered to left-center off Jeff Suppan. The Twins went on to an 8-6 victory.

"I've got a huge picture in my office of Jacque hitting the leadoff home run," Gardenhire said. "I see that all the time, and we talk about it all the time. First day as a manager, how exciting it was. It was a great way to start it."

The Twins have now been part of three Opening Days this year.

"Opening Days are always special," Gardenhire said. "I always tell my guys, 'Take it all in.'"

Diamond to throw side session on Wednesday

Diamond upbeat after performance in Class A game

KANSAS CITY -- The next rehab marker for left-hander Scott Diamond will come on Wednesday in Fort Myers, Fla.

General manager Terry Ryan said on Monday that Diamond, who has been working his way back from surgery on his left elbow, will throw a side session on Wednesday and that his status will be determined thereafter.

"Diamond is on schedule," Ryan said.

If Diamond has no complications after the side session, he could start on Friday, against the Mets.

Diamond, 26, had a 3.54 ERA in a team-high 173 innings last season.

Mauer passes Gaetti on Twins' all-time hits list

MIN@KC: Mauer moves into No. 6 spot on hits list

KANSAS CITY -- Joe Mauer continues to climb the Twins' charts.

With his first-inning single off Ervin Santana on Monday, Mauer moved past Gary Gaetti for sixth place on Minnesota's all-time hits list. It was Mauer's 1,277th hit.

Mauer went into the Kansas City series hitting .231 through six games.

 

Twins get good news about De Vries

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins received positive news on Monday, when an MRI performed on right-hander Cole De Vries revealed that his injury is nothing more serious than a strained forearm.

"It's a good thing," said general manager Terry Ryan.

De Vries was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 30, with the strained right forearm.